Times Are Tough for the Lakers in the Big Easy

Game 4 was entirely different altogether, Bryant going for a hybrid of first-half facilitator and second-half prolific scorer. Except in this case, the Lakers gave up 20 second-chance points to the Hornets, allowed Paul to get his second career triple-double (27 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds) and never took advantage of their size by sticking to the offensive scheme that worked so well during the opening minutes of the game. Even more alarming, over the course of the first three games, the Lakers were +21 in total rebounds, but in the Hornets five-point win over the Lakers, Paul had as many rebounds as Gasol and Andrew Bynum combined.

Cue Jackson for the understatement of the playoffs so far.

“We punked out there on the court tonight,” Jackson said.

If people forgot how great Paul is, it’s safe to say their memory has been shaken-up over the course of the series and game four is sure to leave a lasting impression on his overall legacy regardless of what team ends up winning the next two-out-of-three games.

“You’re going against one of the best point guards in this game, and when it’s all said and done, he’ll be one of the best that’s ever laced ’em up,” Bryant said. “That’s just a bad, little dude, man.”

“We can have one or the other,” added Bynum. “We can have him score points or we can have him getting people involved. We can’t have both. He had 27 and 15 assists. That’s nearly 60-some points; we can’t allow that.”

Next: Lakers need to find their flow on offense—stat
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